Planning for the digital TV transition – do it now!

So I was just reading this NYT piece on the Digital TV cut-over and am somewhat shocked that it seems people still don’t know what’s about to happen… not. I would imagine that most people reading this are like me and well prepared for the transition. We’ve had HDTV for many years at home now and only have digital HD cable boxes. I’m sure not too unlike many of my tech centric friends…

The poor normal consumer though is about to have their television experience completely broken because we can’t figure out how to tell people effectively. Here’s a thought …

NASCAR was an interesting idea (sorry you crashed twice) to complement the regular commercial broadcasting, but how about getting out there and actually explaining the situation to people in the community. The digital transition is a big deal and instead of leaving it to chance, let’s actually make sure people are prepared. Walmart seems like a great place to have someone standing at the door handing out the government voucher so it’s a $10 purchase RIGHT NOW. Why make someone mail it in and wait … just do it. This process could be easily replicated in malls and big box stores in the markets our crack government researchers feel will be most impacted.

7 thoughts on “Planning for the digital TV transition – do it now!”

  1. How many people is this really going to impact? Who in this day and age doesn't have cable or satellite?

  2. From that NYT piece –

    “More than 20 million households receive their TV shows using only an antenna, while about 15 million households have at least one TV not connected to cable or satellite, according to the National Association of Broadcasters.”

    and

    “About 40 million coupons have been requested, but to date 16 million have been redeemed, compared with an estimated 35 million televisions that will lose a signal. Adding to the problem: people who obtained coupons early this year, but never redeemed them, have discovered that they expire after 90 days. They are not allowed to reapply for vouchers (though they could use someone else’s coupon).”

  3. Doesn't that number of households seem really high? Plus, the 35 million TVs probably includes TVs that are not necessarily used for watching TV. My mother has a TV that she only uses for videos. No need to convert that one to digital. Given, we're not the really the target market for this, but I don't know a single person that still has analog TV. And that includes a bunch of people in rural NY state.

  4. This change won't effect me one bit. I don't have cable, and don't watch TV via antenna (DVD only, and web for the rest). Frankly, the amount of press about it where I am has been minimal, especially given the holiday season. Ah well. Maybe someone will put something together, or face PR-hell.

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  6. Hello, for a long time I read your blog, thanks for that that write interesting and
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